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N was referred to our refuge services after coming to our drop in service seeking support and temporary accommodation. Although N realises that she is in an abusive relationship with her partner, she was willing to look past his abusive behaviour for the benefit of the child they have together. However, she has come to see that her partner will never change and that his abusive behaviour may actually pose a threat to her child’s safety.
N did not feel safe living with her partner as he is mentally controlling and has threatened her. N’s support worker immediately assessed and reserved a temporary space for her. Her support worker also developed a safety plan for her to pack her belongings and to safely leave her current housing. N is happy with her temporary accommodation as she feels safe and gets along well with the other women in the refuge.
N’s support worker introduced the Empowerment Star tool in order to develop a support plan that would be helpful to N. Through this tool her support worker was able to identify aspects that N needed most support in, which was both finance and accommodation. Despite a couple of setbacks relating to her financial matters, N has continued to stay positive although she does feel low at times.
N’s support worker helped support her to apply for income support as well as for a benefits claim. Her support worker also provided emotional support for N and offered some advice on matters related to financial issues. Soon, N was able to find a job, was bidding for permanent tenancy and had her financial matters sorted out. Through the support of her worker, N was also able to apply for a business grant for her to open her own hairdressing shop. N was overwhelmed with feelings of happiness and excitement as she finally feels hopeful about the future and feels that she has her independence back.
A was referred to the Children and Young People’s service as he had suffered from both emotional and physical abuse from his dad. The impact of the abuse has left him with high levels of fear and distress. Although A still feels that he cares for his dad, he does not want to have continued contact with him as it makes him confused knowing his dad is not who he initially thought he was.
Since contact remains as an issue for A, his support worker tried to encourage A to focus on the positive aspects of his life and to not let his anxiety and negativity overwhelm the other parts. His worker also made sure to discuss what a positive contact looks and feels like, and that A knew the difference between being playful and being abusive.
A was referred to the CEDAR (Children Experience Domestic Abuse Recovery) programme, which aims to address the impact of domestic abuse on families. Through this programme, A was able to talk about strategies to keep safe, to acknowledge relationships that are important to him as well as to understand and overcome his experience of abuse. A successfully attended the 10 week programme and was able to use the safe space to explore his feelings and to take the first steps to rebuilding his life.